In this debut memoir, Picchi and Desrosiers weave personal memories with technical sailing knowledge to illustrate their growth from passengers to sailors.
This story winds through several of the authors’ adventures, describing with conversational ease and descriptive detail the work and precision of navigating a sailboat. As such, it’s filled with personal anecdotes of emergencies, mistakes, revelations, and discoveries. Picchi vividly recounts, for example, an incident involving a dead engine, in which she hastily worked with Desrosiers to save the boat from jagged rocks. Not only does Picchi’s finesse as a sailor develop over the course of the book, but her relationship with Desrosiers grows more resilient and profound. The two found themselves working together to adapt and solve problems through stormy waters, busy harbors, and equipment malfunctions. In one passage, Picchi reflects on her own anxieties and Desrosiers’ ability to keep a cool head: “As we made our way through the harbor, I felt increasingly anxious….I turned to Tom and said frantically that I thought we should turn the boat around….He considered the idea calmly for a moment and then said, no, he didn’t think that was necessary.” Picchi not only learned how to navigate a sailboat, but also learned the value of her partner and the relative strengths and weaknesses that made them invincible as a team. Together, they learned how to navigate unpredictable waters as well as relationship conflicts, such as panicked moments, tight quarters, and general agitation. Each chapter moves the story forward and also presents sidebars on a wealth of sailing-related topics, such as docking, stargazing, radar, safety, and the attitude one needs to handle adverse conditions. Overall, the book will serve as both a sailing guide and as an intriguing narrative.
An engaging book full of helpful boating information.